India beat Australia by 9 wickets via Duckworth-Lewis method in the first T20 International in Ranchi on Saturday. Chasing a revised target of 48 in 6 overs after Australia scored 118 for 8 in 18.4 overs, India reached the target in 5.3 overs. After losing Rohit Sharma (11) early in the run-chase, India skipper Virat Kohli once again came to the party as he took India home with 3 balls to spare. Shikhar Dhawan, making his comeback into the side, remained unbeaten on 15 as the hosts went past the revised target without too much trouble. Skipper Kohli's 14-ball-22 had three boundaries and Dhawan also hit three boundaries as they cruised to the target. Rohit hit debutant left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff for a boundary and flicked Nathan Coulter-Nile for a six before being cleaned up.
However the third over bowled by Andrew Tye decisively clinched the match in India's favour as Dhawan and Kohli got a boundary each to get 11 runs. After that, it became a cakewalk as Coulter-Nile's next over produced nine runs. With six needed off the final over bowled by Dan Christian, Kohli smacked the third delivery for a boundary to finish it off in style.
Opting to bowl first, India struck early with the ball. Australia never really got going as they lost wickets at regular intervals throughout their innings. For the visitors, Aaron Finch (42) was the only one who looked threatening at the top of the order but with little help coming from the middle-order, the Aussies were struggling at 118 for 8 when rain interrupted play. Kuldeep Yadav was again the pick of the bowlers for India, returning with figures of 2 for 16 while Jaspreet Bumrah showed his class in the death overs by bowling yorkers at will that helped him get rid of Tim Paine and Nathan Coulter-Nile towards the end of the innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Yuzvendra Chahal picked up a wicket apiece, putting India in a commanding position in the first of the three-match T20I series before rain played spoilsport in the 19th over of the innings.
The visitors were off to a good start, after losing David Warner in the first over, with 50 runs coming off 37 balls but Chahal provided the vital breakthrough, dismissing his bunny Glenn Maxwell for the fourth time in four games.
Maxwell, who is often called 'Big Show' for promising much and delivering too little as he gave a simple catch to Bumrah at short mid-wicket.
This was after Kuldeep dismissed Finch and Moises Henriques (8) off successive overs. It was Finch's dismissal that brought about Australia's downfall.
Finch looked in fine form with four boundaries and one six but against Yadav, he looked determined to play the sweep shot.
After playing five sweep shots, Yadav bowled one fuller that breached his defence.
The wicket virtually sent alarm bells ringing in the Australian camp as Yadav and Chahal went through the middle overs restricting their flow of runs before Bumrah's twin bursts in the 18th over.
Earlier, David Warner made his intentions clear with successive boundaries off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first over.
Warner looked for a third boundary with a similar slash but was played on, done in by the length as Bhuvneshwar had the last laugh in a battle between the two Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates.
Australia 118/8 in 18.4 overs (Aaron Finch 42, Kuldeep Yadav 2/16, Jasprit Bumrah 2/17)
India (target 48 in 6 overs) 49/1 in 5.3 overs (Virat Kohli 22 not out).
(With PTI Inputs)